The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has authorized the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine and the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine for emergency use to be distributed across the nation.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends that healthcare workers and residents in long-term care facilities be offered the vaccine first in phase 1a, followed by elders age 75 and older and front-line essential workers in phase 1b, and elders age 65 to 74 and individuals 16 and older with underlying conditions in phase 1c. As health care workers and residents in long-term care facilities receive their first dose of the vaccine, below are some resources to keep you informed about its implementation as it continues to roll out.
The Department of Health and Human Services is laying the necessary groundwork for the distribution of a safe and effective COVID-19 vaccine by ensuring that all tribal health programs and urban Indian organizations have the choice on how they receive the COVID-19 vaccine. Tribal health programs and Urban Indian Organizations (UIOs) had the option of receiving the vaccine either through the Indian Health Service or their respective state. Once available, COVID-19 vaccines will be allocated to jurisdictions, including the Indian Health Service (IHS), who will then distribute to tribal health programs and UIOs.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, along with IHS, states, and tribes, are coordinating the distribution of a vaccine for federal sites, tribal health programs, and UIOs. CDC has developed standard data requirements that all health care facilities must meet for COVID-19 vaccine administration, inventory, and monitoring.
The IHS recently released the IHS COVID-19 Pandemic Vaccine Plan November 2020, which details how the IHS health care system will prepare for and operationalize a vaccine when it becomes available. It also provides important guidance for all tribal health programs and UIOs that choose to receive a COVID-19 vaccine coordinated through IHS as well as guidance for IHS federal sites.
To better understand the needs of American Indian and Alaska Native communities prior to publication of the IHS COVID-19 Pandemic Vaccine Plan, the Department of Health and Human Services initiated tribal consultation in September to seek input from tribal leaders on COVID-19 vaccination planning for Indian Country. The IHS also initiated tribal consultation and urban confer in October to seek input from tribal and urban leaders on the plan.
The IHS developed the plan based on the CDC’s COVID-19 Vaccination Interim Playbook for Jurisdiction Operations, while recognizing the sovereign authority of tribal nations to provide for the welfare of their people.
The list of IHS, tribal health program, and urban Indian organization facilities that will receive the COVID-19 vaccine from the IHS, broken down by IHS Area, is available on the IHS coronavirus website.
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
The CDC provides a package of informational resources, including facts about the vaccine, its safety, dissemination and supply, cost, what to expect when getting vaccinated, and its benefits. The CDC also outlines What to Expect at Your Appointment to Get Vaccinated for COVID-19.
The CDC provides answers to frequently asked questions about the vaccination, including what to continue doing to protect yourself and others against COVID-19 as the first priority groups receive their vaccination. The CDC also has additional facts about the vaccine on their website to assist in the distribution of accurate vaccine information.
Vaccine Coverage, Pricing, and Reimbursement in the U.S.
While the vaccine will be free of cost, providers may charge administration fees, which insurance or the Health Resources & Services Administration can reimburse. The Kaiser Family Foundation (KFF) provides greater depth about vaccine pricing and patients’ cost share by insurance type. The KFF’s COVID-19 Vaccine Monitor will also continue to track and research the public’s perception of and experience with the vaccine.
The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) recommends using the VaccineFinder to find locations for getting recommended vaccines. Note: the COVID-19 vaccine is not yet available on the VaccineFinder, but will be added once it is more widely available to the public.
Equitable Vaccine Distribution
Kaiser Family Foundation shares data and recommends improving access and utilizing culturally appropriate and respectful outreach to reduce barriers to vaccination for people of color.
Answers to Additional Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs):
Below is a small collection of answers to FAQs from other sources:
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